Spain's Islamic Legacy

Akbar Ahmed looks at the legacy of a Moorish past for the present Spain.

Abd-ar-Rahman III and his court in Medina Azahara, by Dionisio Baixeras Verdaguer.Historians who look for world-changing dates, universal bench-marks, will surely agree on 1492: it is the year in which the last Muslim kingdom of Spain, Granada, fell and the fate of the Muslims and Jews was finally sealed on the Iberian peninsula; it is also the year Christopher Columbus sailed for America. For Europe it would herald a period of profound change of direction; the dying of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the New World and, eventually, modernity. It would also trigger the large-scale destruction of native populations in the Americas.

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